Should You Go Bilingual?

By Chris Roberts


Category: Content Marketing SEO Social Media Web Design

Law firms these days are being bombarded with lots of different choices when it comes to their digital marketing plans. Should your website have this or that design structure? Which social media platforms should your firm actively participate on? How much will SEO, as well as paid advertising, be prioritized in your marketing budget? What kind of content will your website host?

While there are tons of questions and an equally mind-numbing amount of possible answers, remember to take these questions in stride: After all, you’re looking to create the best possible marketing strategy for your firm, so every question and answer will vary according to your needs.

Of course, one additional question to consider in the midst of all the others is whether you should offer a second language on your firm’s website.

Here, we’ll dive into why your firm should consider adding a second language to its site as well as how it could be beneficial for your marketing strategy.

Many Legal Markets… and Many Languages

In this day and age – the age of globalization – multilingualism, as well as the companies that cater themselves to it, is becoming increasingly important. Even if your consumer market has always traditionally spoken only English, that could easily change in the coming years.

Obviously, we aren’t suggesting that English will lose its importance in terms of the way we communicate and conduct business daily. But, more and more languages have already begun to appear on the scene. Ultimately, these may be subpopulations of potential clients that your firm would like to tap into one day – or maybe even now.

What Does the Language Landscape Look Like?

Measuring language usage in the U.S. is inherently difficult, mostly because:

  • Firstly, the U.S. Census Bureau has not prioritized data on language ability, acquisition, and usage (particularly at home) until more recently.
  • Secondly, those who may speak another language (and no English at all) are notoriously difficult to study, with estimates almost always falling shorter than the purported reality.
  • Thirdly, languages are an important part of human behavior, sociology, and culture. But language dynamics can often be quite complex to quantify on a large scale (like, for example, the American population).

All of these factors combine together to make a muddled language landscape.

But, what the data does tell us is that likely about 22 percent of Americans are considered bilingual, having some English skills as well as other language skills. This figure has almost doubled since survey data from 1980. What this suggests is that there’s a steadily increasing population of Americans who aren’t just speaking English. To capitalize on these language shifts within your firm’s own marketing strategy could be wise.

5 SEO Benefits of Having a Second Language Option on Your Law Firm’s Website

If you’re considering adding a second language option on your firm’s website to better cater to the growth of non-English speakers or bilingual potential clients in your local community or state, there are many possible SEO benefits that your firm could experience from doing so. These include:

1. Improved SEO Ranking

Stated simply, when you include another language option on your website, you are opening up the possibility to rank for a larger variety of keywords.

Obviously, it’s important to have your bilingual or multilingual website set up properly in order to capitalize on these benefits. But, when done well, this relatively simple step can have a tangible positive impact on your site’s optimization by widening your reach.

2. Widening Your Viewership Potential

Whenever there’s more information available, there’s almost undoubtedly more viewing potential across a broader spectrum of client markets.

By opting to include a second language option on your site, you’re automatically inviting a larger group of viewers to experience your website and the information it has to offer. This, in turn, can translate (literally) into more opportunities for your firm to expand its potential clientele bases.

Ultimately, taking actionable steps toward expanding your firm’s potential client bases can lead to strong marketing ROI for your legal practice.

3. Furthering Your Brand

Though it may seem superficial, having a second language option on your site can simply look more professional.

Now, that’s not to say that not having a second language option looks unprofessional, but to a certain degree, there’s something impressive about offering your website in another language.

In fact, for the average customer, this may give off an impressive aesthetic that can lead to a deeper trust in your professionalism and legal knowledge. Simply put: It may give off the impression that you have a wide client base (perhaps even international), which may help to distinguish your firm from other competitors.

4. Opening New Markets

As we mentioned when discussing viewership, the addition of another language can help open new markets for your firm. For example, consider a firm that works within a predominantly English-speaking community, though there has been a steady increase in non-native English speaking populations within that same community over the past decades.

If this firm conducts proper research to discover which language option would be most valuable to include on its site and why, it can effectively open a “new” market that may have been unreachable previously. And, let’s say that this particular firm is also the only one of its community to offer a second language option on its website – this factor alone could be the final reason why a potential client decides to choose that firm over a competitor.

5. Boosting Localized Searches

Because the goal of any great digital marketing plan is to convert viewers into clients, capitalizing on all of the different languages that your community may contain can be great for boosting your own firm locally as well as globally.

If your firm happens to work with international clients (or wants to one day), then offering your website’s content in the language of your targeted market can lead to an exceptional boost in web traffic and conversion.

And, as we know from statistics released by Google in 2016, local searches for nearby products and services resulted in purchases 28 percent of the time. This factor can have a huge impact on your firm’s conversion rate.

Three Ways a Second Language Option Can Positively Affect Viewer Perceptions

From a more personal viewpoint, hosting a second language experience on your firm’s website can also appeal to potential clients’ perceptions of your firm, even before they are introduced to your About Us page or meet with your firm during the new-client consultation. Here are three ways in which offering a second language on your firm’s site can positively impact the attitudes of your online viewers:

Shows Interest in the Customer Experience

Even among potential clients who won’t be using the additional language, such a feature conveys that your firm is concerned with the customer experience – so much so that you’ve opted to add an entire other languages simply for your viewers’ ease.

For those who will be using the second language option, your firm’s consideration of their needs and overall attention to detail may be much appreciated, especially if you’re the only firm of your kind to do so in the community.

Demonstrates Cultural Sensitivity and Awareness

Anyone who’s ever tried to learn another language or who’s traveled abroad knows how frustrating language barriers can be. Especially when it comes to intense, stressful matters like legal concerns, having information available in the language in which you feel most comfortable can be highly relieving. For those who need to use your legal services, offering information in their native languages can offer help in a way that content in their non-native language just simply can’t compete with.

Even for those who won’t be using the second language option, its presence on your website can still attest to your firm’s awareness of such barriers and, moreover, your willingness to remain culturally sensitive even while maintaining your legal practice.

Builds Trust Between Prospective Clients and Your Firm

Because a second language option can effectively break down barriers and offer specific prospective client populations much-needed help in the comfort of another language, your website can build an aura of trust and understanding even before you start working on the case.

It also shows that you’re ready and willing to offer your legal services without regard to clients’ language, race, ethnicity, cultural background, etc.

And that’s always a positive message for your firm to transmit.

How Can We Help Your Firm

At Black Fin, we have worked with many different clients over numerous years to perfect our skills and master our trade – and our trade is digital marketing.

Specializing in SEO, content marketing, social media management, web design, PPC ads, and more means that, when it comes to your firm’s digital marketing plan, we’ve got you covered.

If you’re interested in learning more about how having a second language can help advance your website’s marketing efforts, get in touch with us today. We’d love to take a look at your existing marketing efforts, your target client demographics, and how the possibility of implementing another language on your website could help you. Contact us today to learn more.

Client Review


"I cannot be happier with Gerrid Smith and Black Fin, and highly recommend their services."

- Seth Gladstein, Gladstein Law Firm